Today is the last day to enroll in or change a 2017 insurance plan through the federal healthcare marketplace. But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, this may be the last time people can sign up for insurance through the marketplace.
In 2016, more than 37,000 West Virginians signed up for health insurance through the ACA marketplaces. Nationwide, enrollment numbers for 2017 are up slightly from 2016 numbers – despite promises from President Trump to repeal the healthcare law.
Last week, the White House ordered federal health officials to stop advertising that the final days to sign up for 2017 coverage are approaching. Critics fear this move will suppress the enrollment of young, healthy people who research has shown tend to buy insurance at last minute. Those healthy individuals help pay into the system, but make fewer claims, helping control insurance costs.
As of January 14, 8.8 million Americans had signed up for insurance through the health care marketplace. Enrollment numbers have not been updated since Trump took the White House on January 20.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.